Running Free carries a large variety of GU products including GU Brew, an electrolyte powder, Gels and chewable Chomps, all meant to replace electrolytes and provide energy in the form of carbohydrates. I have been a regular consumer of both the Gels and Chomps over the years but had never tried GU Brew. I figured it was time to give it a whirl. My go to sports drink is Gatorade. I like it strong, sweet and preferably, on sale. You could say that GU Brew is the antithesis of Gatorade. In fact, it positions itself in the market as being less sweet and lighter flavoured than other brands. It certainly is both of these things and as expected, initially was not pleasing to my palate. In fact, I found two of the flavours, orange and lemon-lime slightly bitter but the raspberry and blueberry-pomegranate flavours less so. Given time, I think I could give up my sugar loving ways and become accustomed to the taste.
Here is the nitty gritty for 2 scoops of GU Brew (which is added to 16 oz of water):
- 100 calories
- 490 mg sodium
- 40 mg potassium
- 26 g carbohydrates (of which only 8 g are sugar)
For comparison purposes, Gatorade has the following in a 16 oz serving:
- 120 calories
- 200 mg sodium
- 52 mg potassium
- 30 g carbohydrates (with 28 g being sugar)
As you can see, two things jump out. One is the higher sodium content in GU Brew and the other is the sugar to carbohydrate ratio. I used GU Brew while training in the pool as well as on my bike but I never did get the chance to try it out in a race. I found it quite effective for swimming where my caloric requirements aren’t substantial but electrolytes are necessary to help ward off foot cramps. It also served me well on my bike rides (all less than 2 hours) but while on the road by myself I missed the intense flavour and sugar hit of Gatorade. However, I had no gastro-intestinal issues and felt fueled and adequately hydrated. So all in all, I think I’m still on the fence about GU Brew. If you like lighter tasting sports drinks, require higher levels of sodium, or have tummy issues with simple sugars, then I would suggest trying GU Brew. In those circumstances it would certainly fit the bill.